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ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is another method of artificial insemination and was developed in the early 1990s. The world’s first attempts were made at the University of Vienna and the breakthrough came in 1992 in the USA. With this technique, only a single sperm is required for successful fertilization.

During ICSI treatment in Linz, a man’s sperm cell is injected directly into the egg cell under a microscope. A failure to fertilise can be excluded in many cases. ICSI is used when the man’s sperm quality is limited and would not be able to fertilise the female egg cells ‘independently’.

Even if there are no sperm cells found in the man’s ejaculate, there is still a chance of obtaining sperm cells through MESA or TESE (testicular or epididymal puncture) then using them for ICSI.

The ICSI treatment in Linz is a very complex procedure and can only be carried out by the most experienced biologists. We can count Ms Helena Angermaier from Munich as part of the team of the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer, she is one of the most experienced biologists in Europe and carried out the first successful ICSI in Germany in 1992.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection enables fertilisation rates of over 60 per cent of all egg cells even in patients with low sperm concentration. According to the available data so far, no increased risk of malformations is to be expected in children conceived by ICSI treatment.

P-ICSI is a special form of ICSI, a non-invasive procedure for sperm selection as part of ICSI. The selection of sperm is not primarily based on its appearance, but rather on the biochemical maturity of the respective sperm cells. To clarify: the heads of mature sperm cells carry a specific receptor (antenna) for hyaluronic acid in order to be able to find mature egg cells in the darkness of the fallopian tube. Hyaluronic acid is an essential component in the egg cell’s shell and literally attracts the sperm. Immature and genetically impaired sperm do not have this receptor. Therefore, immature or damaged sperm cannot recognise the egg cell and consequently cannot fertilise it.

In P-ICSI, the biologist pours the man’s semen over a special hyaluronic acid plate and waits to see which sperm attach to the plate. These sperm are mature and probably healthy and can be used to fertilise the egg cells.

In the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer, hyaluronic acid is generally used to select sperm, because studies in recent years indicate a significant improvement in the fertilisation or implantation rate through its use in sperm selection.